“Meeeeeh!”

By Kellen Anthoine ’26

09:54, Sofitel, Rome, Italy. Our plane had just landed at the FCO Airport less than two hours ago and my parents and I had just finished unpacking. We were finally ready to walk around and explore the tourist – filled Rome before my dad had his first meeting. Seconds after walking out of the front door we heard a sound: “Meeeeeh!” It sounded like a balloon being slowly deflated, except a lot louder, and it caught me off guard. I looked towards the noise and saw a man with a dramatic frown on his face looking at me and my family. He was across the street standing directly in front of a stack of two milk crates with a cutting board on top. On the cutting board there was this jelly-like blob. I watched him pick up the blob, which I could now see had a face, form it into a ball, and throw it on the cutting board, making the sound “Meeeeeh!” We walked past him and he didn’t say a word.

Our first destination was the Spanish Steps, which were only a couple of minutes walk from the Sofitel. We arrived at the top, looking down over the beautiful Italian skyline. The air was filled with the smells of pasta and pizza, the playing of street musicians on accordions and violins, and also with the sound of “Meeeeeh!” Right there, at the bottom of the Spanish Steps was another man with the same milk crate setup in front of him, picking up and throwing another blob on it. Every time it hit the ground, the sound it made lit up the whole area.

Next we went to the Pantheon, where the sound followed us. Then the Colosseum. Everywhere we went, the sound of “Meeeeeh!” was present. All throughout the city these guys were there, watching us and anticipating a sale. 

This annoying sound made it a relief to get out of Rome. The moment we entered the train to Sorrento was the last time I ever heard that sound and I will probably never hear it again. The absence of the noise was a unique type of bliss, an ending of an aggravation. Outside of the big touristy city, there were no more salesmen trying to get us to buy their cheap products. Instead, we got to experience the true essence of Italy: quality food, good weather, and kind people.

All in all this whole story’s my way of saying how much better it is to stay out of the biggest tourist-oriented locations when traveling. Tourist traps, while beautiful, are full of people, noise, and scams that make it hard to appreciate their beauty. While Sorrento isn’t exactly unknown, it’s still less popular than Rome and because of that, is a lot more authentic.

Review of Round Square Pre-Conference Trip

By: Oscar Gronros ’26

-Photo credit: Oscar Gronros ’26

This year Hebron Academy had six students travel to the Round Square International Conference. This conference was located in Nairobi Kenya and took place over the course of seven days. We took a three day pre-conference trip before the seven day conference for a total of ten days. The flight was a whopping 17 hours and when we touched down in Kenya we met up with two other schools from Toronto Canada.

The three day pre-conference trip was located in the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara is a massive national reserve. The entire park was constantly patrolled by officers to protect against poachers. Our van first traveled into the reserve to a hotel where we split up and headed to our respective hotel rooms. There was a slight mishap where my group’s key had been misplaced before it was given to us. We knew the general location of our hotel however we didn’t know the exact number. Therefore we were quite stranded until we could find a new key. Finally after we got a key we moved into our rooms however only for a minute before we had to switch again with another group. This switching went on and on for two days finally ending with all the girls in one room and the boys being split between two rooms.

-Photo credit: Mr. Tholen

After all that movement we were able to go on a safari. These safaris were incredible with more animals than I have ever seen in my life. The herds of gazelle and zebras covered entire hills to the point one couldn’t see any grass. We as well were able to see a few lions roaming looking for shade to protect themselves against the hot sun. These incredible experiences were only on the two to four hour safaris. On the second day we went on a massive eight hour safari. This safari had every animal I could think of. We got incredibly close to many animals and we were even less than ten feet away from a leopard. We first traveled for four hours through the plain seeing hundreds of different animals each just a little bit different than the one before it.

Then as we were reaching lunch time we reached the Mara River. This is the biggest river in Kenya being home to almost all of the crocodiles and hippopotamuses. At the river we stopped for a picnic with pre-made bags of food. There were so many small animals running around the picnic site and many monkeys. These monkeys were asking for trouble as they kept rushing up from behind someone in our group trying to get a little scrap of food. After our short picnic we loaded back into the vans where we traveled back to the hotel to pack our bags for the massive International Conference. The next day we all piled into the vans to travel to Brookhouse Schools for the Round Square International Conference.

Belle’s Hawaiian Vacation

By: Belle Beauchesne ’25

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ’25

This June, I traveled to Hawaii with my family for my sister’s graduation trip. I was there for almost two weeks and got to see many incredible views. This first photo was taken during sunset from my resort balcony in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii.

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ’25

This second photo was also taken during sunset from the beach on the resort in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii. Waking up early to see the sunrise and staying out late to see the sunset were two of my favorite things to do when I was in Hawaii. My family and I also did many activities during our stay, including horseback riding, snorkeling, visiting Oahu for a day, exploring the ocean wildlife around Molokini Island, attending a traditional Hawaiin luau, and going to a variety of beaches.

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ’25

Along with taking in the breathtaking views Hawaii had to offer, I tried to take advantage of the beauty in the Hawaiian wildlife and greenery around me. This photo was taken on the resort’s property in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii, and it is of a pink plumeria flower. My resort had a bunch of plumeria flowers all over the resort’s outside property. Besides the pink version of the plumeria flower shown above, I saw some in white and yellow as well.  

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ‘25 

This last photo was taken in Wailea-Makena, Maui, Hawaii, on a beach on the side of the road. In Hawaii, all beaches are considered public property, so anyone can go to any beach-resembling area (I say beach-resembling area because not all areas are declared official beaches) for free. This photo was taken as the sun was setting and is one of my favorites because it shows a beautiful view of both the ocean and the sky.